Download e-book for iPad: Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction by Motoko Tanaka

By Motoko Tanaka

Beginning with the background of apocalyptic culture within the West and targeting glossy eastern apocalyptic technology fiction in manga, anime, and novels, Apocalypse in modern eastern technology Fiction indicates how technological know-how fiction mirrored and coped with the devastation in jap nationwide identification after 1945. The constitution of apocalyptic technology fiction unearths what's at stake in jap society - cultural continuity, culture, politics, ideology, fact, groups, and interpersonal relationships - and indicates how one can deal with those crises and visions for the longer term, either confident and unfavourable. by means of taking a look at the postwar interval, Motoko Tanaka observes how eastern apocalyptic discourse has replaced in its position as a device in accordance with the zeitgeists of varied many years.

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Apocalypse is no longer a mere end-time story. Rather, I argue that the structure of apocalypse implies changes of certain relationships in the time of crisis and change; it concerns the relationship between the self and a new and unknown Other. Apocalypse describes the crisis of facing a totally unknown opponent or environment, destructive conflict between self and Other, and implies a new relationship between the two. Through experiencing these changes, apocalypse can offer to solidify one’s unstable identity in times of crisis, and to create new relationships with others.

However, as we have seen, various subspecies of apocalypse have emerged as it has lost its religious meaning and been transformed by sociopolitical changes. I would therefore define apocalypse as a story of facing a destructive end, usually an end that is never experienced by either the protagonists of the narratives or by their writers/readers; the story includes a catastrophic moment of ending caused by unknown Others, or by unexperienced changes. Apocalypse is formed when we feel a sense of crisis toward things or events we have never experienced: an individual death, the end of an epoch, the disintegration of an empire, the collapse of an ideology, the physical termination of the universe, or the end of the way we conceive the world.

As we have seen above, apocalypse is versatile, and its context, proportion, rhetoric, and influence vary greatly. It is very difficult to evaluate worldwide apocalyptic traditions in terms of “good” or “bad” effects; the influence of the apocalyptic imagination is very versatile. Therefore, I prefer to pay attention to the functions of the apocalyptic phenomenon rather than its moralistic value. The point is to look at what has been revealed through apocalyptic narratives at various times, especially during major transitional periods; apocalypse in the original Greek signifies lifting up the veil to reveal/disclose/uncover the otherwise hidden truth.

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Apocalypse in Contemporary Japanese Science Fiction by Motoko Tanaka

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